[Lambeth Conference] This September, Anglicans are being invited to take forward the Lambeth Call on the Environment and Sustainable Development, one year on from the launch of the Communion Forest at Lambeth Palace.
The Lambeth Call on the Environment and Sustainable Development is one of ten Lambeth Calls discussed by the bishops at the Lambeth Conference in 2022. It outlines some bold commitments in tackling environmental crises, including just financing, community resilience building, advocacy, biodiversity restoration and promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The Communion Forest is also a big feature in the Lambeth Call. Bishops pledged their support for it last year, through a tree planting and service of commitment on the lawns of Lambeth Palace.
Described as a “global act of hope,” the Communion Forest is an international initiative that celebrates new and existing Anglican environmental projects. These might include tree planting, reforestation, conservation or restoration, which combined create a “virtual forest” around the world. The initiative is facilitated by the Anglican Alliance and the Anglican Communion Environment Network.
Inspiration for the Communion Forest came from Kenya and other African provinces with their forestry initiatives. The Communion Forest lists several inspiring projects, including a tree growing initiative for confirmations in Ireland, reforestation in Kenya, mangrove restoration in the Philippines, advocacy against logging in the Solomon Islands and “Saplings for Sacraments” in Washington, United States.
Archbishop Julio Murray, the chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, will chair a webinar focused on the Call and the Communion Forest this September. Murray addressed the Lambeth Conference last year during the environment day. He will lead an Anglican delegation to COP28 later this year.
Speaking about his hopes for the webinar this September, Murray said: “The Lambeth Call on Environment and Sustainable Development is very clear. It says: ‘For ourselves and for future generations we need to act now, urgently and at scale.’ Together, Anglicans around the world can play a big part in responding to the environmental crises facing the planet. I invite Anglicans far and wide to join us this September, as we consider how to take the call forward and grow the Communion Forest, through collective action and advocacy.”
The Lambeth Conference webinars are scheduled for Sept. 20 and 21. Contributors will include Bishop Jo Bailey Wells (ACO), Amal Sarah (co-chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Anglican Communion Youth Network), Nicholas Pande (Anglican Alliance), the Rev. Jacynthia Murphy (Anglican Indigenous Network), Paulo Ueti (ACO) and the Rev. Stephen Spencer (ACO). A series of resources and Bible study materials will also be shared, to aid people explore the Lambeth Call in their setting.
The webinar will be the second in the “Add your voice to the call” series being run by the Lambeth Conference. The program is exploring each of the Lambeth Calls from the Lambeth Conference and is open to all Anglicans around the Communion.